Most homeowners rely on air filters to some degree to keep things like dust out of the home, and these provide some measure of protection, depending on how the filter works. If you have concerns about the quality of your indoor air, you might consider an ultraviolet light system.
In general, a filter functions to screen out particles from the air, trapping them in the filter and releasing cleaner air back into the home. UV light works basically the same way. However, these systems use UV rays to target a specific class of pollutants: microorganisms.
UV light systems have a specific goal: They take out microorganisms, such as viruses and mold. You’ll often hear people call these systems “germicidal” because they kill germs. Now, you may be wondering how safe such a system can be if it contains ultraviolet light, which is a type of radiation. The small doses used in air purifiers are safe and, when mounted to your duct system, designed to never make contact with people – even at these safe levels.
The amount of radiation in UV systems is, however, strong enough to kill the organic matter in mold and viruses. UV light is highly effective at zapping these troublemakers because, once the light hits the organism, it hits the organism at the core of its cells – in its DNA – basically rendering it incapable of reproducing.
Each time the air circulates through the home and then back into the UV light air purifier, the system destroys more of these organisms. So it’s important to look for a system that cycles enough cubic feet of air per minute.
UV light may be a good choice for homeowners whose allergies or other health problems are triggered by mold, viruses or bacteria. However, UV light is not effective against pollutants like dust or gases. That’s why UV light often is combined with another filtering system — the two can work in tandem to purify air.
Questions? Contact the professionals at All Year Heating, Air & Solar. Our experts can help you design a system that meets your needs.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about UV light systems and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
All Year services the Greater Sacramento area. To get started, check out our website.